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Old 08-12-2014, 03:40 PM   #15
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Adding a cataltic element reduces oxygen consumption. But even if the catalytic element did deteriorate, the heater would consume oxygen at a rate similar to any other propane heater.

CO is only produced when the oxygen in the room is depleted. That is why most portable propane heaters now have oxygen depletion sensors.

The oxygen depletion sensor in a portable propane heater makes it less of a CO risk than our propane stoves....probably even than our central factory furnace, because a cracked heat exchanger could also delete oxygen and possibly lead to CO production.

Everything in life is a calculated sleeping in a tiny aluminum capsule that has
  • 80 lbs of propane sitting atop 2 lead acid batteries outside the front window
  • an open-flame water heater under the starboard bunk
  • a stove with 3 open flame burners on one side of the galley
  • an open flame fridge on the other side of the galley heating ammonia gas
  • a propane furnace burning brightly in the aft compartment.

Come to think of it, that $100 Mister Heater with an oxygen depletion sensor is probably the safest thing on board.


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Old 08-12-2014, 03:44 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
Unvented heaters are hazardous. People have died.
The main hazards posed are fire and CO poisoning.

But if you've come down with the flu, have a pounding headache, can't seem to get warm, and there's a storm outside, you might forget or decide it isn't worth it.
My cousin, his wife and baby daughter were all asphyxiated in a tragic CO accident at their summer home (not RV related). One of the reasons the investigators figured they didn't go outside for help is they all had symptoms of severe flu, but that is how CO comes on, headaches, nausea, vomiting. See Jammer's comments above....

A number of years ago two brothers attended a WBCCI rally in my then home unit. They used a stove top burner for heat apparently. One did not make it through the night. A stove top burner is the same as any unvented heater as far as how it uses oxygen and can produce CO.

And yes, thousands of people have used the unvented heaters with no problems over many years. But there is a sound reason that they are not legal or RVIA approved for use in Recreational Vehicles and never come as factory equipment.

Please understand the dangers of them very well prior to using them in your own RV. You may decide the risks are not worth the benefits. Spend the money you would pay for a non approved propane heater on upgrading your electrical and battery system, for example, and use the original CO safe furnace. (assuming it is in fact rust free, hole free....I had one which was not, and what headaches I got, until I figured the problem out. It was replaced of course).

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Old 08-12-2014, 05:37 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by idroba View Post
A stove top burner is the same as any unvented heater as far as how it uses oxygen and can produce CO.
True that they all deplete oxygen. But a huge difference is that the latest small propane heaters have oxygen depletion sensors. They shut off before oxygen gets so low that CO levels become dangerous.

With these safety systems common now, I do not see how these small unvented propane heaters are a higher risk than any other heat source in our trailers. If we cannot trust ANSI and CSA approved safety circuits on these unvented propane heaters, should we trust the electronic safety circuits on our furnaces or water heaters that follow the same organizational standards?

Or for that matter how can we trust the CO detectors installed in our trailers which are also CSA compliant?
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:11 PM   #18
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Portable gas heaters

An advantage that a vented furnace has over their unvented brethren is that in order to asphyxiate the trailer occupants a vented furnace must in most every instance suffer a heat exchanger failure.

I know a person who was in a coma for weeks because of a portable propane heater he was using in a tent.

My sons are staying in my trailer tonight. Now they wont be in need of a heater tonight, but if they were,,,,, I wouldn't let them use an unvented heater, in fact, it wouldn't even be in the trailer.

The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

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